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Motivated buyers give sellers advantage

An inside look at the spring real estate market with agent Rob Stark

Created date

April 7th, 2017
People moving to Wind Crest who use a preferred real estate agent like Rob Stark with RE/MAX to sell their house, qualify for the Move On Us program and receive a moving services credit (up to $2,000) in their resident account.

People moving to Wind Crest who use a preferred real estate agent like Rob Stark with RE/MAX to sell their house, qualify for the Move On Us program and receive a moving services credit (up to $2,000) in their resident account.

Denver’s mild climate makes any season a good time to list your house, but sellers who list in the first two quarters of the year are at a distinct advantage, says Rob Stark, a RE/MAX agent based in Littleton, Colo.

Stark gives an inside, in-depth look at the market this spring and how you can take advantage of low inventory, high rental rates, and motivated buyers to trade homeowner responsibilities for maintenance-free living at Wind Crest, the Erickson Living community in Highlands Ranch. 

Q: What can sellers expect this spring if they want to put their house on the market? 

A: I expect that we will continue to see a strong sellers market with moderate appreciation here in Colorado. The Denver Metropolitan area is still experiencing a significant housing shortage. This is evident in all of the new construction of apartment complexes sprouting up everywhere. 

We also have very low available inventory of existing homes. Buyers in the first two quarters are going to be motivated to make a decision in their home purchase. This puts sellers at a distinct advantage this spring. 

Another factor that sellers have in their favor is that rental rates are at an all-time high in our market. It is actually cheaper to buy a house right now than to rent one.

Q: How do you expect the mortgage rate increase to affect the market? What have we seen so far since it was announced as well as historically? 

A: The prevailing rate now is at about 4.25%.  As interest rates will likely still press upward, buyers will be motivated to lock in a low rate and move forward with a contract. 

Since the late 1930s, the average mortgage rate is approximately 7.25%.  Essentially, it is the cheapest money you get on one of the largest purchases in your life. Coupled with the tax advantages, purchasing a home right now makes good financial sense, especially for the influx of young buyers relocating to the Denver area. 

Historically, upward pressure on interest rates has slowed the purchase market. This happens in a balanced (buyer to seller) market or in a distinctly strong buyers market with an over-abundance of inventory. With low inventory and still incredibly low interest rates, as is the case in the Denver Metro area, sellers have the advantage.

Q: Could you suggest a few easy tips so people can prepare their house for the market without breaking the bank—or their back? 

A: First of all, cleanliness makes a huge difference. A home that may not have much updating still can show well if it is spotlessly clean. At Stark Real Estate Group, we engage professional detail cleaners and top-notch carpet cleaning as an inexpensive alternative.  

Decluttering your home is also crucial. The home shows bigger and gives a better impression if you have minimal items in the home and it looks tidy and organized.  

The next step is cosmetic painting, which is generally very affordable. Working with a company like Wind Crest that has a personal moving consultant for people making the move is a great advantage for these sellers as well. Beth Brandenburg has helped hundreds of people move and keeps the process stress-free.

Q: What are the most important things to keep in mind when deciding on a list price so that you avoid having your house on the market for an extended period of time while still getting a fair price? 

A: It is crucial to engage an agent who has experience in the valuation process. This means comparing your home in detail to comparative properties, not just averaging home sales in your area. This gives the seller ammunition in negotiating with a buyer and keeps your expectations realistic when you enter the market. Trust the market and make prudent adjustments when necessary. 

Additionally, make sure your agent has your home on the market at least through one weekend to make sure you have adequate exposure to attain the very highest price for your home.

Q: How do you work with Wind Crest to make the selling and moving process easier?

A: Communication, first and foremost.  My aunt lived at Wind Crest, and I understand the process both as an agent and as a family member. I have been a preferred agent at Wind Crest for seven years and helped people make the move to all the buildings in the High Line neighborhood.  

This move is different from any move people have ever had in their lives. Making sure they and their families understand the entire process creates less anxiety. I also employ many strategies when I negotiate the transaction to ensure the transition for future residents is as methodical and stress-free as possible.